State of Public Education, Con’t: I went to (G)Nat’s classroom after school to check up on her homework. A few items haven’t been showing up in the daily folder, and I wanted to make sure she was getting everything done. (She was.) Got to talking with the teacher; they’re studying Pearl Harbor. No sugar-coating this one, either. (G)Nat had asked questions about it at the dinner table the other night, so we’d had a discussion on what happened. My little sponge soaked it all up and gave the class a recitation on the details today, probably complete with my note that it was unwise to attack the United States. According to the conversation I had with the teacher today, they’re going to put on a play about Pearl Harbor, which may make several parents do a Givney Flip. She said the next play will be about Romulus and Remus. She likes Rome.

Lady is hard core.

Aiieeee! I forgot to write the Stagworld update.

AIIEEE! I forgot to scan the Stagworld update. Well, go read this Chicago Trib review of my new book while I work. (If they bug you to register - and I HATE THAT - go here, and type "books" into the search box.) Bottom line: Hiliarious! But I overreach sometimes. Oh you don’t say.


Okay, that’s done. Just a few more site updates to go, and I’m done with that pile of ook. I have no idea what will replace it for a weekly update – gee, maybe nothing? Nah. Patriotica comes back.  I was that was my next book, but I don’t know what my next book will be. I only hope there is one.

It was a busy enough day, crisp and bright. I wrote a post on about an editorial that suggested – no, DEMANDED – that we ban woodburning fireplaces, because they are killing people and causing autism and sudden infant death syndrome AND ARE YOU OKAY WITH THAT? It was remarkable, really. Some have suggested it was part of the Strib’s desire to control your life. No. I would have published it. Overwrought, perhaps, but illustrative. I knew someone once who was on a personal crusade to eliminate all fragrances from modern society, because they caused cancer and interrupted your neural-chatter and made your DNA coil into Mobius strips and the rest. If you did not believe this was true you were simply denying the science. Some people think they live in a world awash in poison. They move to the country. They are eaten by a grue. And so it goes.

I’m sure there are people who step outside on a cold night and sniff the air and detect the smell of a neighbor’s fireplace, and they clap a hand over their nose so they don’t get cancer. I feel very sorry for them. If it triggers asthma, well, that’s a different matter – but I guarantee you this: if I had a breathing condition that was seriously exacerbated by fireplace smoke, I would wear a mask while walking the dog before I demanded the government made my neighbors brick up their fireplaces.

Then again, I don’t get it, the it being the thing sensible people grasped long ago. And there are so many its these days.


Your daily Christmas jpy. (That's not a typo. Google it, for heaven's sake.) (Okay, it's a typo.) This is a perennial Kitschmas number; the cover shows you everything that was wrong about extracting a backstory from this video game. Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man have guests, and they're the guys who spend the game trying to kill them.


Honest: this was the running mental conversation I had the other day while driving around and listening to XM radio. I flipped to the Old Time Radio station, and heard the theme for “X-Minus One.”

Great! I thought. I just hope it’s not “Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls.” To back up a bit – “X-Minus One” was one of the first shows I heard when the DC public radio station introduced me to old radio, back in 1992. On Sunday nights they played “Gunsmoke,” “Lum and Abner,” “X-Minus One,” and the like. I used to sit by the radio with my digitizer, which was a small device about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and capture short sound files while I pulled smokes out of my pack of cigarettes, which was about the size of a digitizer. Of course, I still have them; years later, I worked a few into the Chickheart Doom Mix. Every now and then I’ll hear a music cue I captured long ago, and it’ll make me sit up: I remember that. These are both from "X-Minus One."


Anyway. "Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls" annoyed me greatly when I first heard it. The kid was awful in a way particular to the radio kids; they often weren’t, and made terribly unconvincing children. The Wonderful Dolls annoyed the bejeziz out of me, because it should have been obvious from the start there would be a problem. And then it got stupider. So whenever “X-Minus One” comes on the radio, I brace myself: please don’t be “Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls.” We now return you to the mental conversation. To repeat: I flipped to the Old Time Radio station, and heard the theme for “X-Minus One.”

Great! I thought. I just hope it’s not “Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls.”

“That was ‘X-Minus One,’ said the announcer, who seems like a really nice guy but has a voice that’s far too high for classic radio.

Damn! Missed it.

“We’ll have another episode –“

Great! Please, don’t be “Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls.”

“In half an hour.”


“In the meantime, we present an episode of the show that preceded ‘X-Minus One,’ ‘Dimension X.’”


“And now, from 1950: ‘Perigi’s Wonderful Dolls.’”

AAAAAHH! Criminey. Well, if I had to suffer through it, you will too.



Off to; see you there. Stagworld is here.

And if you don't mind: buy the book. Please? Thanks!